Building upon good data is key to delivering a complete shopping experience for retail customers. But don’t limit yourself to data available from POS systems alone. Explore new opportunities to enhance retail customer experiences and transform the way you do business, based on data accessible through the Internet of Things (IoT).
Think outside the IT box
In terms of collecting and analyzing data to enhance customer experiences and maximize sales opportunities, the core functions of retail data systems are common across most applications. But as burgeoning IoT technology creates unique opportunities to access, analyze, correlate, and exploit discrete new data resources in virtually every retail channel, prepare to expand your focus.
Identify opportunities across every niche
With the right IT structure, creative use of IoT inputs intended for operational purposes can improve customer-focused efforts managed through CRM resources. For example, cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies previously siloed ERP and CRM functions in a shared database with a common data model, making it easier for you to benefit from the variety of IoT nodes in your specific retail environment.
- In general retail, apparel, fashion, or supermarket applications, capitalize on data collection and transmission capabilities before the final transaction at checkout-line POS systems. Wireless devices and systems provide new versatility to enhance retail customer experiences at the real “point-of-decision” – the sales floor, car lot, even a remote temporary sales location such as a kiosk. That includes power to compare product performance, record consumer behavior and preferences, monitor inventory, and customize offers – all on the spot. Promotions through mobile devices or digital signs, as well as cost-saving control over lighting systems, can also be triggered by consumer traffic.
- In retail vending applications, utilize built-in IoT features for remote monitoring of transactions, inventory, and machine functionality. Maximize profitability with wired or wireless telematics capabilities that help you optimize product-mix and route-driver efficiency. Minimize potential downtime and lost sales, as well, thanks to instant notification of equipment malfunction or depleted stocks.
- In retail foodservice operations, leverage capabilities range from customer-facing tableside credit and debit card transactions, to online monitoring of oven and refrigerator temperatures behind closed kitchen doors. Tracking on-site equipment performance – complete with alarm and reporting features – can help maintain both quality and profitability. That aids in efficient food preparation and storage with less waste, protects brand reputation by preventing foodborne illnesses, improves equipment maintenance scheduling efficiency, and reduces operating costs.
Adopt a can-do approach
Let the enriching potential of IoT retail solutions be your muse for creative new marketing and customer service programs, too. Being able to push or pull data to or from a secure cloud database using simple connectors makes it easier to integrate IoT data whether optimizing existing efforts or evolving strategies to endear your company to new consumers.
- Elevate customer service to new heights by finding new ways to turn meaningful IoT inputs into better retail customer experiences – for incident management, customer surveys, even call center activities.
- Adapt to customer preferences and personalize campaigns throughout all promotional efforts via consistent omni-channel buying experiences.
- Vary promotional activity based on rapidly changing situations.
- Tap into the power of mobile device access among both in-store employees and end consumers.
- Promote opportunities for instant add-on sales – such as accessories or consumables – based on commonly associated purchases or closely related application requirements.
- Maximize opportunities for repeat business, with promotions triggered by customer proximity sensed through their mobile devices, by previous purchase history, or by consumer browsing behavior.
Enhance your own customer experience
As a user of retail technology systems, empower your options by evaluating the physical, financial, and analytical advantages of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the expertise of AlfaPeople across a variety of retail applications. Ask an AlfaPeople representative how you can capitalize on operations data, CRM intelligence, and the benefits of IoT retail solutions, all in one integrated solution.